The tough thing about a free society is that you can't let people scream "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater or let soldiers with government security clearance leak secrets to the Web. You need limits.
The Verge, a popular website covering technology, is blasting lawmakers in an editorial for voting to enact the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (FISA) and, for the first time in my life, I feel like Archie Bunker.
I'm all for the first amendment and I love picking on Congress as much as any American, but The Verge goes over the edge with hysteria about the government spying on Americans in its scathing editorial.
"Congress has once again failed to protect Americans from warrantless electronic surveillance," says the subtitle to the piece, headlined "The One Thing Congress Can Agree On Is Violating Your Privacy."
Hey, call me crazy but I don't mind the government having this kind of power. I am naive enough to trust the government not to abuse the policy. I fear our enemies more than our government.
You must trust the U.S. government not to conspire against Americans and you must let government do its job of protecting us.
"This week, as Congressional incompetence threatens to plunge the US into another recession," says the clever editorial poking fun at Congress. "It's comforting to know that Democrats and Republicans can still agree on at least one thing: that the US government should have the unquestionable authority to spy on its own citizens — in secret, without a warrant, and absent of any semblance of transparency."
If The Verge was saying the U.S. government was using privacy law privileges to spy on Americans who don't like President Obama or Mitch McConnell, I'd be outraged.
As long as the government does not track Americans for speaking out (nonviolently) on issues and uses its spy powers to track real bad guys, I'm okay with it.
America is not China. The U.S. Government is not restricting access to information to an entire society. The U.S. Government is using its domestic spy powers to benefit Americans, not control them.
Besides, if America created laws with teeth forbidding government from accessing emails of its citizens and using GPS tracking on a watch list, the U.S. would likely be the only major world power not trying to access that data.
And, if you're stupid enough to be America's enemy, then I don't mind the government tracking me to protect me from you.
Or maybe it's just that my life's not all that interesting.